Farmville Recreation Looks Into Future Plans

Published 11:24 am Tuesday, June 2, 2015

FARMVILLE — Big ideas are being brainstormed for the future of the Fireman’s Sports Area in Farmville.
“I can envision us adding a full gym out at the Fireman’s Sports Arena one day…Also, having places for classrooms out there. There are tons of recreational opportunities over at the arena and it helps being located right next to the schools,” Farmville Town Manager Gerry Spates remarked on Farmville Recreation Department’s possible future growth.
Although many local residents are aware of what the town has to offer recreation-wise, some may not have noticed all of the opportunities waiting to be explored, especially with summer quickly arriving.
“We have the golf course, the pool, and the banquet hall all located next to the (Farmville Regional) airport. We also have the Fireman’s Sports Arena, which the firemen gave us. We are also very fortunate because Centra gave us $75,000 to fix up the arena. We have completely renovated it and we have a softball field out there,” Spates noted.
“We also have spaces that we rent out and provide recreational opportunities at. For example, PEFYA (Prince Edward-Farmville Youth Association) has their gym in town. The gym belongs to them, but they let us use it for the basketball program. We run the program and they get the income from the basketball events held there. We also rent spaces and offer exercise classes, like aerobics and yoga, at the South Street Conference Center.”
However, recreation in Farmville is not limited to athletics.
“If you actually look up the definition of recreation,” said Farmville Recreation Director Chris Bolt, “it says the enrichment or enlightenment of one’s mind and spirit. It is not just going out and playing sports or even through an activity. Recreation is someone who could be going to the park to read a book. It encompasses a lot of different things. It is what you do for pleasure.”
The annual Easter egg hunt that the recreation department holds is an example of non-sporting recreation.
“Our goal is to always give the community opportunities and chances,” Spates said.
“I always think about what (Piedmont Regional Jail Superintendent) Donald Hunter said: ‘If you don’t take care of the kids now, I am going to be taking care of them at the jail.’ You need to provide an avenue for them to do stuff and Chris does that through little programs like the Easter egg hunt. If anyone thinks that you are going to go and make money off of an Easter egg hunt, you are crazy. We do those things for the opportunities for the kids.”
However, the department is eager to add more opportunities for the community to enjoy.
“We are hoping to eventually have a community center out there (Fireman’s Arena),” Bolt said.
“We would want to be open from 8 a.m. till late in the evening and offer activities for different age groups (kids, adults, and active older adults). So, the kids would always have a place to go after school.”
“We are also looking to host shows out there. Those shows could revolve around cars, trade, antiques, guns and knives, etc. I think that would be cool stuff to offer.”
Bolt concluded, “There are a lot of opportunities on the horizon for the community.”